When you remove a bandage that’s been on for a few days, you’re often left with a sticky, discolored residue around the area of the healed wound. A Band-Aid brand’s bandage adhesive helps keep it in place while your skin heals but can leave sticky residue when removed. When left unattended, the adhesive residue acts like a magnet for dirt and debris. Although the stickiness eventually washes and wears off, it becomes increasingly dirty-looking in the meantime. You can successfully remove sticky residue from Band-Aid bandages with supplies found around the home.

Things You'll Need

Moisten a cotton ball with cooking oil. Squeeze the cotton ball to remove excess oil so it’s damp but not dripping.

Swab the sticky adhesive on your skin with the cotton ball. Gently rub in a back-and-forth motion to break down the sticky residue with the oil.

Place one to two drops of dish washing detergent on a wash cloth. Add warm water to moisten the wash cloth.

Lay the warm, damp wash cloth over the remaining sticky adhesive for one minute to loosen it. Rub the soapy wash cloth over your skin to remove the oil residue and adhesive.

Rinse the cloth with water and wipe your skin off. Pat-dry the skin with a towel.

Treat any remaining sticky residue left by the Band-Aid bandage by wiping it off with a cotton ball dampened with nail polish remover. Gently rub to remove the adhesive. Wash your skin with the detergent solution, rinse it and pat it dry.


  • Substitute baby oil or mineral oil for cooking oil to remove the adhesive.